Peru court sentences Peru.21 newspaper director and reporter for defamation

A court in Peru’s southern Arequipa region sentenced on Friday the director and a reporter at daily Peru.21 for a defamation suit filed in relation to a story about alleged prostitution connections in the family of Congresswoman Ana Maria Solorzano, a member of the ruling Gana Peru party.

Solorzano’s aunt, Rosario Flores Bedregal, presented the suit against Peru.21 director Fritz Du Bois and reporter Gessler Ojeda based on a report last March when Solorzano was a candidate for Congress.

The story, which was an opinion piece written by Du Bois, discussed the alleged “dark connections” between Solorzano’s family with a prostitution business.

In the article, Du Bois says, without mentioning Solorzano’s name, that her family is connected to the “highly profitable business” of prostitution.

The court ordered that Du Boiz and Ojeda’s sentences would be suspended if they complied with certain rules and paid civil reparations of 30,000 soles (approximately $10,700).

On Friday, Peru.21 began an article on the issue saying: “Dark days are coming,” and compared the sentence to recent sentences against the media in Ecuador, where President Rafael Correa has embarked on some of the region’s most repressive tactics to curtail press freedoms.

The director of the Peruvian Press Council, Kela Leon, said the ruling was concerning and “out of context.”

Former lawmaker and member of the Institute of Press and Society Institute, Guido Lombardi, said it was “absurd to sentence someone for their opinion, and that the court ruling sets a harmful precedent for freedom of expression.”

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *